Controversies Surrounding the 2022 Autumn Festival

기사승인 [398호] 2022.11.09  


   ‘Daedong Festival 2022 DANFESTA, Would you play!?' took place from September 21 to 22 at Dankook University (DKU) on the Jukjeon Campus. As it was the autumn festival held for the first time in three years after the long aftermath of COVID-19, there were a variety of amusing events and performances, but there were also big and small controversies that arose related to this festival. The Dankook Herald (DKH) decided to delve into the controversies to learn more about them.

▲ Dankookians are enjoying the festival pub. (Photo from The Dankook Herald)

   An argument has been raised over the private reservation of a festival pub run by the College of Humanities. According to a post uploaded on Everytime, one of the student presidents’ from the College of Humanities posted reservation-related post for a festival pub on his personal social media. However, there were no such posts related to the reservation system on the official account of the College Humanities. Since then, the head of the College of Humanities Festival Preparation Committee issued a statement of apology saying, "I apologize for the reservation system issue for the festival pub in the College of Humanities," adding, "I hoped to enjoy the festival with members working at the bar after work, so I posted a post of pub reservation on my personal SNS and KakaoTalk group chat room without being aware of any problems this might cause and took 11 reservations on the first day.”

   Suspicions have also been raised about voter manipulation for the winning entry in the Instagram Reels challenge event held from September 17 to September 20. The awards and prize money were given to the winners on September 21, but a post titled 'Please withdraw the prize money given to the first-place team in the Reels challenge event' was posted EveryTime on September 25. In the text, an anonymous writer said, 'Just before midnight at the end of this event, I witnessed an abnormal surge in the number of likes of the first-place team. Only the number of likes was increasing by approximately six-thousand, and the view count of Reels did not increase at all. This is a much larger number of likes than the previous number of likes.’ The writer also added a screenshot of the likes that increased without changing the number of views. The anonymous publisher insisted the prize money be withdrawn. The winning team was embroiled in allegations that they bought Instagram likes. As suspicions arose, the winning team said that they had never purchased likes and that their shares surged because their acquaintances are Instagram influencers. According to the post of the anonymous publisher who raised the suspicion contacted the PLAY! Student Council and got a reply that they were fully aware of this problem. But the PLAY! Student Council did not take any official position, and the participants were invariably selected as event winners.

   Another controversy that arose concerned seats around the performance stage. There was a problem of people leaving their belongings on the stairs around the performance stage, except for the Dankook Zone in front of the stage. There were Dankookians (Students of DKU) who were dissatisfied with this action and that the PLAY! Student Council did not impose any sanctions on these people.

   Finally, controversy arose over the MC invited to host the festival. MC Clown demeaned the singing skills and appearance of Dankookians who participated in the ‘Sing & Dance’ contest. This humor was not appreciated by those who took part.

▲ Many Dankookians are sitting around the performance stage. (Photo from The Dankook Herald)

   The DKH contacted both the PLAY! Student Council and the Bandi General Assembly (BGA) for comment, but the council refused to issue any statement on the matters. In regards to criticism by Dankookians of DANFESTA, the BGA stated that they are aware of the many issues that have been raised about this year’s festival. Specifically, on the matter of the College of Humanities drinking bar, they have “reviewed the contents uploaded on the student presidents’ personal social media and the apology related to it”, and stated the Central Committee will likely discuss disciplinary actions. However, as far as the Reels challenge event goes, they responded that “there is no direct evidence, and it is not something that the assembly should take part in.” The BGA also addressed the poor communication between the PLAY! Student Council and each College Student Council during the DANFESTA preparation was “something that should not be repeated.” “Both student councils have the duty to communicate through the Student Committee to ensure the welfare for Dankookians remains paramount”, they said. However, with this dispute, they saw the lack of communication causing worries and concerns. The BGA emphasized the importance of understanding and communication in future settings.

   The DKH also conducted a survey to learn more about how Dankookians felt about the issues. 82.6 percent of the participants said they were aware that there were several controversies regarding the DANFESTA. Dankookians also reported being displeased with MC’s overall indiscreet and disparaging remarks about their fellow Dankookians. One respondent felt that his actions were unsuitable for a festival at a "university" where intellectuals gather. In addition, some Dankookians said it was regrettable that the festival was held under a cloud of discomfort as various controversies including the student council issue had not been resolved yet. Moreover, complaints about pre-booking Dankook Zone and selling it to outsiders at a high price also rose. There was also a complaint about indiscriminately discarded garbage. An overall satisfaction survey graded from 1 (not at all satisfied) to 5 (very satisfied), revealed that 39.1 percent of respondents score their level of satisfaction as 4 while 21.7 percent rated it as 3. 2 and 1 accounted for 30.4 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively. This means that quite a few Dankookians were not satisfied with the outcome of the autumn festival. When asked about improvements for next year, Dankookians expressed regret over the artists performing at the festival. Since the festival line-up was mainly focused on hip-hop, it was difficult for people who are not familiar with the genre to enjoy it together. They hope the next festival’s line-up will be more diverse including genres such as K-pop, ballads, and indie music. Others suggested it would have been more entertaining if there were various things to enjoy. Last but not least, Dankookians demanded the student council provide a clear explanation whenever there are controversies and demonstrate a mature attitude with accountability.

   Although various issues occurred during the festival, it is clear that DANFESTA was a meaningful event for most of the Dankookians as it was the first festival since the COVID-19 incident. The DKH hopes that student councils show an improved attitude for the rest of the term by referring to the opinions from Dankookians.

이승준, 김혜선, 김서현, 홍채연

<저작권자 © The Dankook Herald 무단전재 및 재배포금지>




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